Meaning. Find meaning and purpose in your life.
a. Progress toward meaningful work every day is what people seek, according to Harvard researcher Teresa Amabile. And, small wins get to meaningful progress. Pursue meaning by helping others, not happiness focused only on yourself. There is science/biology behind this purpose vs. happiness dilemma. People who lack meaning in their lives express a gene pattern that activates an inflammatory response, which can become chronic. However, people with purpose in their lives showed no such gene expression.
b. Motivation from meaningful intrinsic values (recognition, respect, and impact) and not extrinsic (rewards and money) has significant positive impact on people’s lives. Research: Before starting to write, writers who thought about intrinsic motivations vs. those who thought about extrinsic motivation produced much better writing. People who did meaningful work outside of their work, performed better at work.
c. Strengths: According to Gallup’s intensive research on strengths, we all have distinctive talents, which can develop into world-class strengths only if we recognize and practice those talents. And when we use those developed strengths, people are six times more engaged at work and three times more satisfied. Unfortunately, we can often “fall into the default career path” and pursue a job because our parents or mentors think it’s a good idea, often without regard for our talents. Job crafting (U. of Michigan) instructs us to look at tasks that give us energy and meaning in our work and recast our jobs toward those tasks.